Essentials of a Wildly Successful Auction event

Kevin Van Hollebeke Celebrating Another Great Auction!

Kevin Van Hollebeke Celebrating Another Great Auction!

Set expectations with everyone (printable pdf)

The Auction Chair, Event Planner or Auction Coordinator assign jobs and delegate dozens of tasks. They also decide the areas of the auction that need to be managed by professionals. Keeping clarity around the respective tasks and responsibilities will be important to your joy meter.

As a vendor I have only one intention – that our professional relationship will be a source of great pride for all of us.  I give the best advice before, during and after the auction and it is mu opinion every vendor should make the same commitment to you.

My Advice

I think it is a good idea to collaborate with  decide how you see role. How much fun do you want to have? It is a good idea to spread the work and responsibilities around to low-maintenance people. This is your Planning Inner Circle. Call this your PIC TEAM. Choose a few industrious, cooperative and committed people to support you. Then choose to be a cooperative and cheerful person yourself.  Seek FUN and build FUN into everything you do. Regularly remind yourself that there is no such thing as a perfect event and suffering is not part of your role.

Most tasks are elementary. The job of the auction chair is to foster a positive and creative environment whereby supporters will feel fulfilled as they deliver on their promises. Begin now by asking people for a commitment to volunteer, donate and attend your event. In fact, never stop asking people to come play with you.  People need a few tools and minimal encouragement to support a successful outcome. All events need people who want to participate in some capacity. If you are a loan wolf, you will struggle. Take a moment to be clear what task or need you want fulfilled and how that person can easily do the job in a defined amount of time. Immediately ask for a commitment. Don’t give up too soon. Give the person your undivided attention. Assure them they have your support. Your event depends on people doing what they love while doing the tasks associated with planning.


Excitement is important to this auction. Nearly 20 years on stage has taught me that we all love to play and have fun. Let’s get people excited long before the auction and during the auction. You will raise more money and enjoy glowing reviews.

I get excited about the donations we are selling and the audience gets excited by how we stage the sale of the donations. There are no hard and fast rules other than every action should facilitate a sale or edify a relationship.

I developed the Auction Powerhouse Training Vault to share all the great ideas from my 22 years in the auction business.  Clients open the folders and look at the documents, listen to the audio and look at the video and photos. Clients copy the ideas and materials and share their own. We can collaborate and design something new just for your event.

Every suggestion I make to you has a proven track record and a procedure to back it up. If we follow that process together the event will make more money and the audience and volunteers and sponsors will feel honored and entertained. Everyone will feel their pleasure and experience is important to us. 


How we make a person feel will determine whether they come to your auction, stay at your auction and return again in coming years. The audience must feel welcome, appreciated and honored for just showing up. Every encounter should be pleasant and every process for buying and giving needs to be simple and require little to no explanation. Confusion of any kind will likely kill a sale and stir a negative barb or thought.  Confusion also leads to mistakes and chain reactions. If we make it Easy it will be fun. Fun most always creates more profit. Eliminate all confusion at all times.

entertain & engage

We implement many strategies to get your audience involved the night of the auction. The Auctioneer, Master of Ceremonies and the Catalog Reader perform as a team to get every last nickel out of the audience in a positive honorable manner. Bid Catchers are an asset for keeping the audience connected to an auctioneer.  Volunteers can join our professional bid catchers during the live auction and together have a huge impact on the final sale.

An auction is a combination of Shopping Spree + A Great Party + Philanthropy.  We want to create a fun and meaningful shopping experience for everyone. Let’s give the guests plenty of chances to Buy and Give. I produced a very informative audio series called “Money Is Marvelous”. These audio lessons are in the “Auction Powerhouse Training Vault” at no extra charge. I reveal the experiences that shaped my methods.  You will find hundreds of examples and lessons. As an example, if you’ve never played Auction Games now might be the time to give this profit generating activity a try. My games are designed to create simultaneous bidding and buying opportunities while sending a message that says “we are here to have fun tonight”.

The Auction Team will support the volunteers and planners in executing their dream auction.  If something has been overlooked or forgotten we probably have a solution. Once the live auction begins, the volunteers will have full access to us at all times.  Clients can open use and share the files in the Auction Powerhouse Training Vault.  Now go for it! It’s auction time!

April Brown, Auctioneer-CEO Charity Auction World

Cell 206-235.4697  Email

Set Expectations